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Composition dependence of hardness and elastic modulus of the cubic and hexagonal NbCo2 Laves phase polytypes studied by nanoindentation

Luo, W. and Kirchlechner, C. and Li, J. and Dehm, G. and Stein, F.

JOURNAL OF MATERIALS RESEARCH
Volume: 35 Pages: 185-195
DOI: 10.1557/jmr.2019.384
Published: 2020

Abstract
Regarding the effect of composition on the mechanical properties of intermetallic phases such as Laves phases, there is conflicting information in the literature. Some authors observed defect hardening when deviating from stoichiometric Laves phase composition, whereas others find defect softening. Here, we present a systematic investigation of the defect state, hardness, and elastic modulus of cubic and hexagonal NbCo2 Laves phases as a function of crystal structure and composition. For this purpose, diffusion couples were prepared which exhibit diffusion layers of the cubic C15 and hexagonal C14 and C36 NbCo2 Laves phases, with concentration gradients covering their entire homogeneity ranges from 24 to 37 at.% Nb. Direct observations of dislocations and stacking faults in the diffusion layers as a function of composition were performed by electron channeling contrast imaging, and the hardness and elastic modulus were probed in the diffusion layers along the concentration gradients by nanoindentation. © 2020 Materials Research Society.

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